What was the toughest lesson you had to learn as a pharmacist?
The toughest lesson I have had to learn as a pharmacist is how to go home at the end of the day feeling like I’ve done a good job when I’ve had a bad day. This has been extremely difficult; however, through a combination of thinking of the good things that happened that day and reflecting on what I could change for next time, I have found I have really developed as a pharmacist and improved how I work.
What is your view on the state of community pharmacy in Scotland?
Community pharmacy is an essential service for the people in Scotland and there has been an obvious shift in the way patients view their community pharmacy over recent years, moving away from being seen as mainly a medication supply service and incorporating more pharmaceutical care and review. However, as with anything, there is always room to improve and I think now is a really exciting time for community pharmacy.
How does community pharmacy need to change to survive in Scotland?
There are so many ways community pharmacy will need to change to be able to meet patient expectations both now and in the future. I would like to see technicians fully utilised and supported to take on greater responsibility within the community pharmacy to support the provision of more patient-facing services within the pharmacy. I would also like to see better access to information across care interfaces. For example a shared medication and consultation record between the GP practice and the community pharmacy that is fully read and write access to facilitate the provision of medication review clinics within the community pharmacy which can be immediately visible to the GP. Community pharmacy also needs to focus on committing to protected “off-rota” time for all staff to facilitate not only additional learning but also to participate in audit, evaluation of their service and research.
What is your advice to the next generation of pharmacists?
Participate in ongoing training at every opportunity. The learning doesn’t stop after pre-reg! Get involved and meet pharmacists from across the profession. Always ask yourself- can this be done better?
Are you optimistic about the future of pharmacy?
Yes. I think that exciting times lie ahead, especially for a recently qualified pharmacist and I’m really looking forward to being part of it.
What’s next for you?
I am currently working towards submitting my portfolio for the NES Pharmacist Vocational Programme Foundation Training using evidence gathered from across my job roles in both hospital and primary care. After completing the programme, I will be looking to start an MSc alongside the pharmacist independent prescribing course.
I have also recently been co-opted onto the RPS Scottish Pharmacy Board which will be an exciting new role that I’m really looking forward to as I feel I can contribute to the development of the profession for the future.